Kia Unveils Official Pricing For 2012 Kia Rio
By Carl Malek
Kia has announced the final pricing of its 2012 Kia Rio and Rio5 models. Pricing for Kia’s smallest offering will begin at a wallet-friendly $13,600 for a base Rio LX 5 door equipped with the manual transmission. Customers who want an automatic transmission can expect to pay a slightly higher starting price of $14,700. At these price points, the 2012 model actually manages to achieve a much lower starting price than the former model that it replaces.
Customers looking to build a Rio of their very own can choose from three different trim levels: the base LX trim, the midlevel EX, and the top of the line SX. The SX starts at just under $18,000, which includes additional features such as 17 inch alloy wheels, twin chrome exhausts, a sport tuned suspension, and LED accents for the head and taillamps. Regardless of which model is selected, all three Rio trim levels will have electric power steering, air conditioning, and satellite radio as standard equipment along with standard safety features such as four wheel ABS brakes, Hill Start Assist Control, and Electronic Stability and Vehicle Stability Control systems.
Providing the power for the 2012 Kia Rio is a 1.6 liter four cylinder engine, which produces strong-for-the-class 138 horsepower and is the only power-plant available for all three Rio trims. Kia claims that this engine is capable of achieving a commendable 31 mpg city and 40 mpg highway when equipped with ISG Start Stop technology. However, while the engine is standard fare across the Rio lineup, transmission choices are limited by trim level with the LX grade car being equipped with the a standard six speed manual gearbox and an optional six speed automatic, whereas uplevel EX and SX versions will be only made available with a six speed automatic transmission.
The Kia Rio has historically been overlooked in the marketplace by a majority of customers in the small car segment due to its drab exterior styling and questionable interior quality. With the addition of higher quality interior materials and revised exterior styling for 2012, Kia’s newly redesigned Rio should not only be able to rectify the wrongs committed by previous efforts, but also help increase the Rio’s popularity among a new generation of small car buyers. Maybe good design really does help sell cars.